UNHCR calls for European support for Greece

UNHCR calls for urgent European support for Greece amid worsening conditions for refugees

UNHCR calls for European support for Greece

World Bulletin / News Desk 

UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler made a statement on asylum seekers in Greece, at the press briefing, on 16 June 2015, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The Greek Government has requested the deployment of the EU's Border Management Agency, to assist at the land border between Turkey and Greece.

According to this statement, since the beginning of this year, more than 55,000 refugees have arrived in Greece by sea from Turkey. The main islands receiving them are Lesvos (some 21,600 arrivals), Chios (9,400), Kos (8,900), Leros (3,900) and Samos (3,500), but people are arriving elsewhere too. More than 90 per cent are from countries experiencing war and conflict, principally Syria (over 60 per cent of arrivals this year), Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

Spindler said in the statement that initial reception conditions for refugees arriving in Greece's North Aegean and Dodecanese islands are worsening. Hundreds of refugees continue to arrive every day in inflatable dinghies and wooden boats, putting a tremendous strain on the island communities that receive them.

"The number of arrivals is expected to increase further during the summer, when weather conditions make the sea crossing from the Turkish mainland less hazardous," he added.

The police, coast guard and local authorities (regional and municipal) have allocated additional personnel and resources but the response continues to fall short of needs. Private citizens, local volunteers and NGOs have all been doing distribution of food, water, shoes and clothes to the refugees. UNHCR is particularly concerned that refugees with specific needs, such as unaccompanied children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with disabilities and victims of torture, may not be receiving appropriate care.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Haziran 2015, 12:51